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TV's Top 50 Showrunners 2010

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    The Mentalist
    Bruno Heller
    "The Mentalist" (CBS)

    As the son of screenwriter Lukas Heller ("The Dirty Dozen"), the British-born Heller had a lot to live up to. So for years he didn't try. Instead, he worked in various below-the-line positions, eventually becoming a noted boom operator. Finally, several years after his father's death in 1988, he gathered the confidence to try his hand at the family trade. After scoring his first big screen credit with the 1994 film "Pax," starring Amanda Plummer, he went on to co-create HBO's "Rome." 

    Favorite TV Moment: The soothing quality of shows like "Cheers." "It was familiar in that it was family," Heller once told THR. "It had a kind of realistic positiveness to it." 

    Big Break: Joining John Milius and William J. MacDonald and "Rome" and writing 11 episodes of the historical epic. 


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